by David and Tim Bayly on November 22, 2004 - 6:39am
After years using Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the Mac, two years ago I started switching back and forth between IE and Safari, Apple's new browser. For a month or two I used them both, but then switched to using Safari exclusively. I liked its tabs feature and a couple other things, but its speed was the major selling point. How long is Microsoft going to continue forcing Mac users to eat their bloated code?
A month or two ago, my son, Joseph, told me about Firefox--he has a Mac Powerbook, too--and I've never looked back. Check it out. According to our stats, fifteen percent of our good readers already use it.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 23, 2004 - 5:16am
The one piece of software which has changed my use of the computer more than any other in the past 5 years is a little desktop search utility called X1.
I've seen reviews in computer magazines that give it middling marks for ignorant reasons. One reviewer recently rated several competing search utilities more highly because they have Outlook toolbars-- completely missing the point that unlike the utilities he preferred, X1 not only indexes Outlook, but EVERYTHING ELSE AS WELL in the computer it's installed on.
Having used every desktop search engine available, I tell you without reservation that X1 excels where others limp along. I have over a gigabyte of backed-up Outlook PST files. They're all automatically indexed by X1. All my PDF files, all my text files, all my old sermons... Probably 15 further GB of text are all immediately searchable and accessible through X1.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 11, 2005 - 6:24am
With half an hour to go until Jobs does his job, I'm hoping Apple releases the machine everyone's holding his breath about--the $500 headless Macintosh. We've all got old monitors stuffed into our closets or garage and it only makes sense for Apple to capitalize on all the iPod users bringing to market something that competes with the low end of the PC world.
Well, we'll soon see...
And by the way, I work on a 15" Aluminum Powerbook (G4), web browser is Firefox, E-mail client is Eudora, Bible program is Online Bible (yes, I'm gnashing my teeth at the lack of a System X update), cell phone is Sony/Ericsson T637 (it's updated using bluetooth to sync it with my Now Contact database; E-mail and blogging are done on the road using Bluetooth on Cingular's network), and I use an external OWC firewire drive for mirror backups.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 9, 2005 - 6:45am
Here's a series of pictures showing how to change the color of the Apple on the lid of a Powerbook. Any takers?
Even though my 15 inch alum is long out of warranty, I don't think I'm going to take the plunge. But over the years, I've often taken my Powerbooks apart--sometimes completely apart. My proudest moment was when a CD got stuck in my prior computer, a Titanium, and I managed to dismantle the computer, remove the combo drive and take it apart, removing the CD, and put it all back together--and here's my moment of glory, I had no screws left over and the computer and drive worked when I got it all back together.
Son Joseph has gone way beyond me, though. A couple years ago he took an iBook apart and replaced the hard drive. And most impressive, it wasn't his own computer. He did have a couple screws left over, though.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 12, 2006 - 5:42pm
For those who, like myself, gave up on Mac years ago, Apple's recent switch to Intel seems old news. But did you ever find yourself wishing you could use Apple hardware with Windows software?
Of course, it's possible through Virtual PC. But the workaround is a kludge compared with a real Windows box.
Despite all the foofaw over Mac's recent System X software, I've seldom regretted switching from Mac to Windows. Hardware is cheaper. Software is usually cheaper and there's greater variety. Plus, charity licensing through Microsoft makes setting up a church server incredibly inexpensive.
Apple oldsters marvel at Steve Jobs' marketing genius, but our real loyalties fall in the direction of Apple's other Steve--Steve Wozniak, commonly known simply as "the Woz." Both Steves joined together to start what is now Apple Computer, but for universal respect and affection the Woz takes the cake. He's a delightful man who seems naturally immune to the egotism so pervasive among Silicon Valley's founders and CEOs.
Back in 2003, the Woz gave a lecture on the history of his involvement with the personal computer revolution. Here's a link to a movie of that lecture. Also, check out the short clip of one of the Woz's many pranks at the bottom of the page.
Here's a copy (without graphics--to see the version with graphics, please send me an E-mail) of First Do No Harm, the first edition of a publication put out by the Health Professionals Liberation Army (HPLA), both founded by Duane Caylor, M.D. Caylor summarizes HPLA's goals for First Do No Harm:
This is the inaugural issue in a series devoted to the resurrection of prudence and common sense in the utilization of computerized medical delivery systems. First Do No Harm will address philosophical, ethical, economic, sociological, and medical issues as they relate to health information technology (HIT). Today's number offers an annotated list of recommended readings for HPLA partisans. We hope you find it both stimulating and entertaining.
For readers not experienced in large-scale software implementations across educational institutions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations, here's an explanation of the conflict that has led to the founding of HPLA and its publication of First Do No Harm.
We've all known (or known of) physicians impaired by their addiction to alcohol or drugs, but who's heard of physicians impaired by the health information technology their clinic or hospital forces them to use?
Patients beware! The latest threat to life and limb is the move from hospital charts to computers running a class of computer programs called "computerized medical delivery systems." After listening to my friend, Duane Caylor, last night, I'm a believer in old fashioned paper charts--at least if the implementation of industry-leader Cerner's computerized physician order entry system in the Dubuque hospital is typical of this category of software.
Dr. Caylor is a Christian physician in Dubuque, Iowa, who works primarily as a family practice doctor. About 23% of his billing, though, comes from hospital care.
Duane tells me that Dubuque's implementation of Cerner's computerized physician order entery system, Genesis, has proved to be quite unhelpful in the provision of patient care. He's argued with his administrators that their patients ought to be asked to give their informed consent to serving as guinea pigs in the latest wave of technological utopianism in the medical world as this system is implemented, for instance, in Dubuque.
The essential fact is that, until now, doctors could write with a pen on paper medical charts they held in their hands...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 31, 2007 - 2:21pm
I've been running Windows Vista Business Edition on two computers since December 20--one, a Dell Latitude D620 Intel Core Duo running at 2.16 ghz with 2 GB of RAM, the other a Gateway convertible laptop/tablet with Intel Core Duo 1.6 ghz and 1 Gb of RAM.
A few thoughts on Vista....
First, Vista upgrades fairly well. If you're upgrading to Vista from XP there's a realistic chance it will work just as it should afterward. This is wonderful stuff coming from Microsoft. Not since my Macintosh days have I updated an OS without reinstalling my programs at the same time.
Second, Aero Vista is pretty.
Third, hardware requirements aren't as severe as we were led to believe. I was sure my Gateway wouldn't run Aero, but it does so just fine despite not having the dedicated graphics card or RAM I had heard would be necessary.
(Tim, w/thanks to Lucas) After my brother's umpteenth revelation of personal hostility towards all things Mac last week, let me reiterate my position held these many years--and unflinchingly in the face of the crassest snobbery and bile from points northward. Let's give peace a chance. That's all we are saying.
(Tim) Son Joseph sends this link and comments: "Apple = infuriating and inexcusable, honestly." He's quite right. The new iPod Suffle is sneakily protected by hardware DRM. EFF puts it this way: "an inventory of Apple's remaining DRM armory makes it vividly clear that DRM ...is almost always about eliminating legitimate competition, hobbling
interoperability, and creating de facto technology monopolies." Then follows a list of Apple's dirty tricks.
A similar irritation to me is that now, some years after Apple introduced the magnetic power cord connector called MagSafe to its laptops, there's still no...
(David) If you're a bicyclist interested in ways to record your rides, I've become the fan of two little methods of ride tracking. The first is a manual-entry Excel spreadsheet called Prolog available in free and paid versions ($10 for a first-time user, $5/year upgrade thereafter). Prolog allows entry of a rich variety of ride details and tracks averages on a monthly and yearly basis. I've tried a variety of programs specifically dedicated to ride-tracking and few come close in cost or features to this little gem. The developer is exceptionally dedicated to improving the sheet and seems to release updates weekly.
Second, there's a great little program for those using Windows Mobile phones with satellite GPS out of Germany called Run.GPS Trainer which not only automatically tracks your rides (or runs if you're running--in fact any sport involving speed and distance), but uploads each session to a website where your rides are permanently recorded for free.
(Tim) Through the years, I've owned more Apple computers than I can keep track of, and at least fifteen of their laptops. Some months back I traded in a 15" MacBook Pro for the then-new 13" aluminum MacBook. It's been the best laptop I've ever owned, and I say that despite being about to receive a new 13" MacBook Pro from Apple because of the problems I've been having with it. The upgrade is, of course, at no cost and you can all learn the lesson that it's dangerous to buy the first iteration of a new computer body. But fear not, my problems are not documented on the web as being shared with many others.
It scared me to go to a smaller screen but my aged eyes have not experienced any additional challenges with the 13" screen. It was worth it for the smaller footprint and (especially) lighter weight. I take the computer everywhere and my elbow is quite happy having shed the weight of the 15" Macbook Pro. So weight, speed, screen quality, keyboard, great glass trackpad, long battery life, smaller and lighter AC adapter than the MacBook Pro, extreme ease of adding RAM or switching out the hard drive, low price, all topped out with the absolutely bulletproof aluminum unibody casing; all have made me a happy camper.
(Tim) Until this past week, I'd never owned a smartphone. David's been using them for years but I always said I didn't need one since I take my laptop everywhere. Then, my two-year-old cellphone neared death and, realizing an iPhone would only cost me about $50-100 more than any other cell phone I'd buy, and that having an iPhone would only add $10 to my monthly AT&T bill, I got an iPhone 3GS.
For four or five years, I've been tethering my laptops to my cell phone using a bluetooth connection that worked well and only cost $20 per month for unlimited data. They always told me it wasn't an official setup, but my local Cingular/AT&T store was helpful and I loved it. E-mail was fast but browsing could be slow. It was about the speed of an old 56k dial-up connection, for those of you who remember those. But it always worked.
When traveling by car, I got in the habit of buying our hotel room on Priceline as the evening progressed and we knew where we'd be when we wanted to go to sleep. One time in Pittsburgh, we bought our room at 10:55 PM and were in bed within the hour.
All this to say, I was loath (quick now, and without looking it up, what's the difference between loathe, loath, and loth?) to give up tethering in order to make the switch to an iPhone. Then Joseph told me an easy tethering solution was available for the new GS, and I bit...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 1, 2009 - 6:07am
(Tim) Rarely does a writer get it right about both Apple and Microsoft, but the Guardian's Charlie Booker has done it. (Watch the language.) Whether you're Mac or Windows, you'll laugh. And when you're done, watch this video with the gray hair who, despite her ancientism, is surprisingly aware of the technological world, the pretty woman leader who's so chipper, the quiet man who knows what he's talking about and finds the others insuperable, and the African American who knows he's there to fill out the color palette.
Tell me this video was an Apple scheme. Microsoft didn't really make it, did they? It was a joke, yeah?
by David and Tim Bayly on October 6, 2009 - 9:56am
(Tim) Here's a picture from Michael. Not sure if he agrees with it, but I do. There can be some good uses of these tools, but the vast majority of what I've seen is not good at all. Talk about false intimacy--this stuff is pornography for women--and men who wish they were and are becoming...
So, how much does God want you to know and tell? And what are the sins encouraged by knowing and telling too much?
by David and Tim Bayly on November 23, 2009 - 12:17pm
(David) Several weeks ago Logos Software suddenly began advertising a new version (No. 4) of their Bible software. I've owned Logos for years and my frustration with their publishing practices has been expressed on this blog in the past. But beyond a business model which charges often-ridiculous prices for public domain books, and book sets which contain an inordinate amount of chaff, I have consistently found the intricacies of the software off-putting. Logos has never been easy to use. It's complex, counter-intuitive, challenging software. Consequently, I seldom use Logos for anything but simple Bible searches.
So an updated version promising greater speed and ease-of-use sounded attractive. How could things get worse? Any simplification would help, especially since I've found it hard to incorporate additional book collections I've purchased over the years into my work flow. So I ponied up $150 for the upgrade and here's what I found.
Because these earphones fit in the ear canal and make flying almost bliss. They can be plugged into your iPod or the airplane's headphone receptacle. These headphones work much, much better than those the airlines hand out (or rent) because the Etymotic ER61s cut off all ambient noise. And I mean all. If there's a screaming baby or you're near the whining jet engines, you'll barely hear them.
The reason I'm putting up a link to them today is that Amazon is selling them right now for $48 and that's about half price. It's a great buy that only comes along about once a year...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 11, 2010 - 8:51am
(Joseph) Some sad statistics in here. Particularly worth noting is that one out of three internet pornography consumers are women. Very soon, we'll need a program for young women similar to what David Canfield is doing for our young men. (Stay tuned for ClearNote Fellowship's soon-to-be-released book for young men on sex and marriage, written by David Canfield help from Nathan Alberson.)
(Tim: This from Elder Jeff Moore of Church of the Good Shepherd)
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29
...and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. - Ephesians 5:4
Increasingly, I'm aware of, not only my own failure to honor Christ in my speech in all spheres of my life, but also everyone else’s failure in light of God’s holy commands. Since God was opening my eyes to the incredible importance of words, tongue, and how we so often dishonor him, I have tried to be more keenly aware of all speech everywhere and in every area of life.
This is even more apparent and important in the digital age of computers, internet, texting, tweeting, cell phones, and whatever the new flavor of the month is for communicating with the world. Information bombards us at breathtaking pace and from many sources. Rarely does any of it honor God.
We can get so immersed in the cultural norms for the way we communicate that we lose discernment on how it is we accomplish obeying, by God’s glorious grace, God's commands to us in the epistle to the Ephesian church. Note this letter was given to the church, God's people.
We cannot confine this passage to simply the spoken word in personal conversation when we can hide behind our façade of respectability, if we like. Nor can we be so confined in our application of these commands and also the oft-cited passages in James 3:1-12 regarding the danger of the tongue. No, this also includes the cell phone, the telephone at work and home, and our online words clattering on endlessly...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 16, 2010 - 5:10am
(Tim, w/thanks to Scott) Some of Church of the Good Shepherd's work is a Saturday men's class called David's Mighty Men. Stephen Baker and I teach, then the men meet in smaller groups for accountability and recitation of their Scripture memory. It's a two-year course of study and as practical as true godliness will always be. We teach male and female, courting, marriage, childbearing, work, authority and submission, fatherhood, church, doctrine...
Right from the beginning, we tell the men that we're out to kill "guyland." What's guyland?
Particularly for young men, guyland's almost always pornography, sports, or video games. Do you know how many men in your church are flunking out of life because...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 29, 2010 - 7:44am
WRONG: The bird is beautiful. Look at the bird's coloring. See the bird fly. The bird flies high in the sky. Look at the bird's nest. See the baby birds. The baby birds want to eat. See how their mouths are open? I wish I were a bird so I could fly. Do you want to fly?
RIGHT: The bird is beautiful. Look at the bird's coloring. See the bird fly. The bird flies high in the sky. Look at the bird's nest. See the baby birds. They want to eat. See how their mouths are open? I wish I were a bird so I could fly. Do you want to fly?
(Tim) By now, it's likely there are over 4,000,000 words on Baylyblog and I've written, edited, or read all but a very tiny fraction of them. Edited?
Yes, edited—including our good readers' comments. At times I correct spelling and some of the more obvious typos. Too, I remove spaces.
Why remove spaces? Because many have the habit of treating their computer like a typewriter and it mucks up readability...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 8, 2011 - 9:05am
For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? (1Corinthians 4:15-21)
(Tim) In our semon this past Lord's Day, I was showing how utterly intimate the New Testament is, with names attached to commendations and failures, with I'm-your-father, you're-my-son declarations. The letters of the Apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit are built around his knowledge of the particular sins of particular people. When he writes, he's not collecting royalties off his latest book or speakers fees for his participation in the latest intellectual debate among big Reformed brains disagreeing with one another over how many covenants can fit on the head of a pin. Rather, he writes his letters for the purpose of caring for souls, and thus the letters are fatherly, pastoral exhortations and admonitions and rebukes and threats--as well as ad hominem attacks on his own personal, pastoral opponents in Corinth and Galatia (for instance).
Doctrine has a point. God's prophets have always been accused of being impertinent because they're painfully pertinent in every last sentence and word. So the Apostle Paul might say:
"You're my beloved children. I'm not just a brain or a pedagogue; I'm not just a teacher, but I'm you're Daddy. You're not my sycophants or pupils; you're my beloved children. Now, dear sons, I command that you honor me as every son honors the father he loves: imitate me! I'm sending you Timothy. Like you guys, he's also my dear son. He'll help you imitate me."
But today, whether we have two or three hours a week in a megachurch or a small, tight Reformed congregation, it's unlikely we have anything close to early church intimacy. Tragically, though, with us it's a principle...
Legacy publishers are in trouble and no tears needed. As with seminaries, colleges, denominations, parachurch organizations, missions, and certainly churches, wealth and power corrupt. So it's good to see fresh faces committed to God's truth using the new media that are taking the publishing world by storm. Although those losing money and power will bear false witness against it...
Video games are the bane of manhood; and increasingly, of womanhood, also. More, they destroy Godliness. Followers of Jesus Christ should not be wasting hours on these things, let alone days, weeks, months, years, and decades. And yes, I know several men who are close to wasting a decade of their lives, now.
But it may not even be video games. Three years ago, now, the game I needed to delete from my laptop was Backgammon...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 17, 2012 - 2:05pm
I'd ask him myself but it would be so embarrassing. Maybe someone here can explain to me why my son-in-law always signs his e-mails, "Sent from my Dell Optiplex 780, Windows XP desktop computer"? You'd think he'd be ashamed. He knows I've always had Macs. Is this a PC thing you can't get out of--like Microsoft and black plastic and PP clip art and bullet points?
If you have an idea, please use the comments to explain it to me. He doesn't like comments.
Joseph, Ben and I are very happy to present the new BaylyBlog! We hope you like what we've done to the place. Please take some time to look around. And while you check out the new design—I think Ben did a bang-up job, myself—you can also take advantage of a few of the new features:
I don't talk about it much, but I've been using Macs since 1984 and am now on maybe my fifteenth or so Apple laptop—a 13 inch Air. It took me several years, but I finally started using an iPhone and now I use an iPhone 5. Operating systems to the side, these things are indestructible!
Here's a good article (riffing off an Atlantic piece on insourcing) that shows why I've always been a subscriber to TidBITS and why Apple design is peerless. I couldn't get anyone to read it in my earlier post, so I'm reposting it here. Comments about how much you love your Mac or PC and how expensive your PC or Mac isn't are not allowed. Comments about design, insourcing, and TidBITS only, please.